Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Beige » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:02 pm

Well, Silent Hills is dead. I'm prepared to call Konami "over" at this point. Don't see myself getting into either yoga apps or casino games. Where is my new Contra at?

It's bizarre to watch the non-commentary between Hideo and his old Alma Mater. Surely there is some bad blood here, but I'll be damned if I can understand why the enterprise wouldn't at least continue with Silent Hills -- an excuse to print money if ever there was one. I wonder how much the knife cut the other way. Working with HK can't have been an easy thing to do for Konami... but...

I downloaded PT off the PS Store yesterday. Haven't played it yet, but since it's going away on Wednesday it's now or never. Why oh why couldn't Del Toro and Kojima just be left in peace to do their thing? PT has over one hundred and fifty thousand thumbs up on the storefront, with a four and a half star rating. This is as close to a sure thing in the realm of triple-A as you're likely to see. People want what these guys are selling. It looks like money on the table.

Perhaps the two can get together in some other time, some other place. It's nice to dream.

Capcom is pretty much dead to me, Monster Hunter aside. Square has bizarrely rallied (sorta) but I've been burned by their foolishness too many times recently to get excited about FF XV (yet). Square has a very long way to go to convince me that they even understand how to make a good video game anymore. Kingdom Hearts was so long ago that kids who weren't born yet when KH1 was out now have children of their own. I guess there's always its-a-me Nintendo if I'm looking for quality.. but.... DeNA?

Seriously, is once-upon-a-time Dark Horse Indie FROM Software suddenly the most "got its shit together" Japanese gaming house in 2015? Most of the other A-listers have lost their minds, apparently.

Sorry for the rant, but it just seems like every time I hear about something coming West I get curious, then I follow up links and get blargity blarg. The death of Silent Hills has got me down. I thought FOR SURE this was the one. Castlevania is dead and Last Guardian is nowhere in sight.
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Beige » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:46 pm

I stand corrected: SWERY's latest jam is finally coming to PC.

Reasons to own an XBONE, -1. Possibility of me playing another SWERY game +100%
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Re: The state of Kojima

by A.I Impaired » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:35 pm

Japan was the mill for popular video games. Its amazing that this was the case to begin with, considering a set of noteworthy cultural differences. I think this divide was less evident when video games were more experimental, and gamers had a more open mind. In the case of Kojima though, he has always... in someway ... tried to give us the best of experimental mixed in with trailblazing technology, while giving people their GI Joe exterior that only gets more and more popular each year.

Silent Hill as a series... .could well have stayed echoing Silent Hill 2 for eons, trying to capture what made that experience draw people into the Silent Hill world with curiosity. I think they realized after 4 that they were kind of stuck. They reached out to western developers for help, to some moderate successes and bitter defeats. Now we live in the time of Amnesia, Outlast and Slender.

I think the Japanese vision.... of Horror, or of GI Joe's.... or of fantasy can be the best on the market.
The one thing they seem to struggle with... is innovating in the gameplay space for the modern western audience.
That's why Kojima and Miyazaki are still relevant... they got it. They make games that are consistently relevant to the larger western audience... who play their Call of Duty to feel strong, and play Dark Souls, and Amnesia to feel weak.

So Silent Hills was ... a desperate cry for relevance in this. It would have been. My guess is that the desperation, the scale, and resources involved... collided with a challenging culture around video games in Japan, and a weak infrastructure for this kind of project. Just a guess.
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Re: The state of Kojima

by RedSwirl » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:50 pm

When you think about it it's actually kind of simple: the era of Japanese dominance in console games more or less coincides with the era of Japan's rising global economic prominence. Its downfall is probably right in line with the overall downfall of the old Japanese tech giants. Meanwhile over the past 15 years or so China and South Korea have been on the come-up. Both countries pulled ahead of Japan in terms of R&D. As South Korea's economy rises up some of its media is becoming more prominent, PSY probably being the most well-known example, but you also have things like SNSD and especially all the Korean soap operas that have seen moderate success online. South Korean film making got real in the 00's. In gaming, you have the consoles trying hard to break into China, online games (and Hollywood) going after that Chinese money. South Korea is a pillar of Blizzard's business now. I think this background radiation is what was missing from that old Japanicide podcast you guys did.

I want to talk specifically about Silent Hill though, because that's a really unique case. Similar to Metal Gear and Souls, it's actually the result of a blending of western and Japanese sensibilities. Essentially, Silent Hill is a Japanese take on American horror. Or, it's American horror through the lens of Japanese psychology. That's why it stuck over here. Silent Hill 2 in particular was a unique case, maybe even a perfect storm.

The way I hear it, because SH2 was coming along in the shadow of Metal Gear Solid 2 -- Konami's assured blockbuster, Team Silent wasn't under a microscope and had a considerable amount of freedom to do what it did with that game. That is the very definition of a diverse portfolio -- a bigger product covering for smaller products that may or may not stick to the wall. Once SH2 made it big though, it had to be the big game. Team Silent's original plan following SH2 was to actually turn it into an episodic series of unrelated stories surrounding the same time -- the video game equivalent of The Twilight Zone. Truly an idea at least seven years ahead of its time. But, that kind of middle-budget Japan/western mix on consoles does not have a good chance in today's Japanese economy as Konami interprets it. Konami right now is relying entirely on the known quantities that are Metal Gear and Pro Evolution Soccer.

Companies like From Software and Atlus look like almost the only ones that have been able to keep up the medium-size-but-sustainable model of games with a degree of international appeal. I don't know. In some ways I see that same spirit emerging in Eastern European developers as some of them finally start to stretch out after emerging from the Soviet bloc. Maybe in a few years you'll be able to add Brazil to the discussion of China's and Korea's rising prominence in this industry. the Brazilian consumer base is already significant. In general I wouldn't be surprised if in the coming years or decades we saw significant gaming-related things coming from the BRIC nations.
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Calin Kim » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:07 pm

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Re: The state of Kojima

by Angry Jedi » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:38 am

I played PT last night (because I have a PS4 now!) and I won't say too much about it in case Beige (and anyone else) hasn't played it yet, but... yeah. Play it, and don't be too proud to look up a walkthrough as the last puzzle is some next-level Kojima bullshit of the highest order. And I say that with love.

Now I am sad that Silent Hills is seemingly no longer a thing, because if PT was anything to go by, it would have been incredible.
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Calin Kim » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:11 pm

It makes me sad that I'll never have a chance to play PT.
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Angry Jedi » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:06 pm

Calin Kim wrote:It makes me sad that I'll never have a chance to play PT.


Come stop by, it's still on my PS4. :)
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Re: The state of Kojima

by Calin Kim » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:08 pm

Haha, I'll get right on that :)
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Re: The state of Kojima

by RedSwirl » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:28 pm

I just realized that I possibly could have still "purchased" P.T. in the browser store with my PSN account even though I don't own a PS4. If you got P.T. previously you can still redownload it.
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